Productivity losses due to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers more than $225 billion every year.
The indirect costs of poor health—including absenteeism, disability and reduced work output—are even higher.
That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this month is rolling out a new program to train businesses in Florida for starting their own workplace wellness programs.
The program has already launched in Ohio and Georgia and is gaining momentum.
I spoke with Jason Lang, Team Lead for CDC Workplace. Lang says, “By learning how to promote and improve workplace wellness, employers will ultimately be able to strengthen their own bottom lines by reducing health care costs and increasing productivity.”
Florida Work@Health® T3s provide training and technical services to small-and-mid-sized Florida businesses (SMBs) with more than 20 employees to build a science-based workplace health and wellness program.
By implementing Work@Health®, employers may help lower their healthcare costs while improving Florida’s overall health.
Today’s announcement illustrates the successful expansion of the number of trainers equipped to deliver the Work@Health® employer curricula to additional employers in Florida to support their worksite wellness goals.
Chronic diseases are costly to Florida workers, their families and employers.
Studies have found that:
· Florida’s adult obesity rate is 26.2 percent, up from 18.2 percent in 2000 and more than double the 11.4 percent rate in 1990 (The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America (2015).
· An estimated 65 percent of adult Floridians are at an unhealthy weight (FloridaHealth.gov).
· Florida ranks 32nd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the 2015 Annual Report Health Rankings.
Floridians’ health is also threatened by smoking, lack of health insurance, and higher levels of diabetes (United Health Foundation).
· By 2023, gains in productivity and savings from improving the prevention and management of chronic diseases in Florida could reduce future related economic costs by an estimated 27 percent, or $91 billion, according to An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease, (Milken Institute. 2007).
Florida-area employers who participate in the Work@Health® Program, receive the latest information and resources associated with worksite wellness.
· Free professional training
· Technical assistance and consultation with experts
· The opportunity to network with peers
· Recognition by the CDC as a Work@Health® employer
Work@Health® Train-the-Trainers (T3) will recruit employers in Florida until February 14, 2016.
Selected employers will begin Work@Health®’s three-week online training by February 15, 2016.
The program culminates in a one-day on-site training session, on or before March 16, 2016.
Each Train-the-Trainer will schedule dates, locations, and times in coordination with participating employers.
Employers interested in the program can apply at https://workathealth.us/community/apply-now/
Or contact the Work@Health® Customer Service team at email@example.com or 1-800-305-WELL FREE (9355).
The program includes access to the Work@Health® Training and Technical Assistance Portal, a web-based portal that provides employers with tools, information, and technical assistance from top experts in the field.
In addition, those completing employer training can apply for both Basic and Advanced Technical Assistance, which allows worksites to further develop their wellness programs over several months and apply for national accreditation.
Work@Health® is offered under the CDC’s guidance by ASHLIN Management Group, headquartered in Greenbelt, Md., with offices in Atlanta, Ga., and who is also responsible for the development of the training curricula, outreach and recruitment of employers, and delivery of the Work@Health® Program.
Stay healthy! ~Maria
MARIA DORFNER is the founder of MEDCrunch, a division of Healthy Within Network (HWN). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org